Malt had woken early that day to get a head start on the workload before him. There was always a lot, and there would always be a lot left to do for at least another few weeks, but they were getting there. That steady trickle of progress was important. Best of all was that it turned out that he didn’t need to talk to PK at all after her mini-vacation; her mood had gradually lifted and he had even spotted her talking to Palette a few days prior. That was a gigantic improvement as far as he was concerned. Smiles were more frequent and it seemed like at least part of her burden had been removed. That was good. That was great!
Aside from such, she had presented plans to him for a memorial. He thought this especially touching, but dared not say so. She still snapped if he commended her for being compassionate in the least. He had tried to express how happy he was that she did her best with the Palette situation (going so far as to give the two artists land even, for all their troubles!), and she had simply gotten snippy with him. So he changed the subject. All would be well with time, he knew, but he still wished with all of his heart that she would just open up a little. He wanted to encourage her, but her well of words dried up any time he had tried.
So... it was relieving that her mood was gradually fixing itself, that her color was gradually restoring itself, even if he wasn’t able to fully express himself yet. It was just a matter of time, of waiting it out.
In that same matter, he thought to himself that he might send a letter to Shroomsworth after enough time had passed. He had badly wanted to speak to the ex-leader right after everything had come crashing down, but did not out of fear that he would exacerbate the situation. Malt was patient if anything, and would wait for the right moment.
And who knew? Maybe the situation would fix itself without his meddling; maybe time truly was the healer of all. And it’s not like they’d ever be short on that, right? Time was always plentiful, the only unlimited resource.
Pleasant thoughts of a better future drifted lazily around Malt’s head as he exited the hut (which was coming along nicely) when a familiar sound crept into range of his hearing. It was a rolling tremor; Malt didn’t have to look to the east to spot the carriage’s passenger, for he already knew who the visitor would be.
Part 21 of "The Dates"